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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mushroomz, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. mushroomz

    mushroomz New commenter

    I am currently being 'strongly persuaded' to take on the training of a netball team at the school where I work, in order to prepare them for tournaments in a few weeks' time....Trouble is, this will involve 3 extra hours after school, in addition to the other extra curricular activities I am involved in and I am just feeling so tired after school these days that I just feel I can't take on these extra duties....

    Trouble is, I have a problem saying 'no', especially when asked 'nicely' in a persuasive way, although why this is the case, I'll never understand - just my weakness, I suppose!

    Has anyone got any suggestions as to how I might convey the magic word 'no' in a polite and diplomatic way, without coming across as unhelpful?[​IMG]

  2. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    I have the same problem - I always go into meetings intending to say no but somehow end up saying yes.
    I think you've got two options. The first would be to say it exactly as you have done here, that you've taken on too much already and you wouldn't want to short change the netball team by having to rush off to do other things (focus on why you wouldn't be right for the job, not why you don't want to do it). The second option would be to make yourself unavailable at the time they need you; have you got tutoring to do after school, children to pick up, places to be, etc? The danger here is that if you lie, you could get caught out.
    Of course, your third option is to say yes? Three hours (I assume 3 sessions of 1 hour each?) isn't too much to fit in even with lots of other things. If you combine this with option 1 above and let everyone know how you feel you've got lots on anyway, but you're willing to put yourself out over and above the call of duty for this once, you may earn some valuable brownie points?
  3. Tell them you've paid for a course of evening classes, so regrettably will not be free. Or, say you'll do it if you can drop one of your other clubs.
  4. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    The bottom line is...are you prepared to stand up and say 'no'? If not, any advice given is not going to help you!
    Running a sports club isn't a compulsory part of your job, so if you really don't have time, and really don't want to do it, you have to say no. Often, HTs will ask people like you (who can't say no) while those who do nothing extra never get asked.
    I run a sports club after school in the summer for 90 minutes once a week, and love it. But I only manage to do it because the summer term is a little quieter in a secondary school, and the longer evenings mean that there is time to do other things later on.
    Tell your HT (or other senior teacher) that you have too much on already and that you don't want to compromise your quality of teaching. No-one can argue with that.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Indeed say 'No'. I also advise against feeling the need to create lies and reasons why you 'can't' - You don't have to do such things in order to raise your objection.
  6. Much as I would like to believe this, I think we all have that clause in our contract which says "and whatever the headteacher reasonably asks" - and I have heard of teachers being asked to do way weirder things than running a sports club without the oppportunity to refuse it.
  7. mushroomz

    mushroomz New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies, especially Mark and Daisy!
    I have decided to say 'no' in a polite, but firm manner, saying I have too much on already (including long standing extra curricular clubs). Most of the other stuff I've got to do are things given to me by the person who is asking me to coach the netball team anyway, so she does know I'm willing in other respects!
  8. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    the contract stipulates requirement (a head can ask anything, til they are blue in the face) but that only pertains to directed time for non-leadership teachers - they can only protect themselves with recourse to work/life balance arguments.
    If you are up for a scrap a way to go is to simply not do what you are asked to do beyond directed time and let the head try and do something about it without laying themselves open to a grievance procedure.

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